Sex pest" rabbi caught at Schiphol
A rabbi from Israel who was on the run from sexual misconduct charges, was nabbed on arrival at Schiphol Airport on Thursday.
Rabbi Eliezer Berland (77) had been on the run for two years since charges were filed against him for sexual abuse of young women in the Shuvu Banim hassidic sect that he had started and led. Upon learning that he was wanted for questioning he fled Israel before he could be arrested. He was last spotted in South Africa earlier this week, but managed to evade capture.
South African police say they tried to arrest him while he was in a car on his way to a wedding of one of his followers. “We set up a blockade to stop his car., but as soon as he noticed us, he jumped out and ran to another vehicle,” they said.
Since fleeing Israel, Rabbi Berland has been spotted in Italy, Switzerland, Morocco, South Africa Zimbabwe, from where he was allegedly deported earlier this year, but always managed to stay out of reach of authorities there.
In the end, however, it was Dutch police who caught Berland, who clearly realized it was only a matter of time before South African authorities honed in on him and was seeking a new base.
His Schiphol arrest thus ended long game of cat-and-mouse.